Syrian Regime Responsible for Chemical Stockpile Security, Official Says
By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 19, 2012 Responsibility for security of chemical stockpiles in Syria rests upon the regime, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters here today.
Pentagon Press Secretary George E. Little addresses the news media at the Pentagon, July 19, 2012. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“We’ve seen the reckless, depraved and deplorable behavior of a regime that’s inflicted terrible violence on some people, so we can’t rule out the possibility that they might resort to the use of such weapons,” Little said.
Little described the escalating violence in Syria as “quite striking.” And recent events, he added, would suggest the Assad regime is steadily losing its footing.
“There’s momentum against Assad; we’re seeing that with increased defections … a strengthening where united opposition is operating across the country,” Little said. “Many formally pro-regime Syrians view Assad as the problem … not the solution, and the regime’s financial struggle continues.”
Little explained that Syria’s violence against civilians, stockpiles of chemical weapons and “unacceptable behavior by an illegitimate leader” highlight the need to quickly move to a new stage for Syria and its people.
“Use of chemical weapons would be extremely problematic and would take this conflict to a place that I don’t think anyone would want it to go,” Little said.
As to Assad’s specific whereabouts of late, Little replied, “I don’t know precisely where he is … but I know precisely where he should be, and that is out of power.”